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Malnutrition, the silent epidemic

Photojournalist Ron Haviv traveled to Bangladesh to document a silent epidemic that may lack the drama to make the nightly news, but has the power to undermine a world’s worth of young lives: childhood malnutrition.

Working with humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders, Haviv and six other members of the photo agency VII took their cameras to Mexico, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, India and Bangladesh to try to bring attention to an epidemic that affects an estimated 195 million children, according to Doctors Without Borders.

Malnutrition is not defined as a lack of food, but rather the right kind of food.

Every year, the U.S. provides more than half of the world’s food aid, at a cost of between $2 billion and $3 billion. That doesn’t stop at last three million children a year from dying of illnesses caused by malnutrition. A major reason is that in many cases we’re not sending the right kinds of food malnourished children need, according to a Doctors Without Borders.

Need to Know takes a closer look at the global malnutrition epidemic, the unexpected role that U.S. food policy plays in perpetuating it and some new ideas for improving nutrition for those who need it most.

Related:
‘Starved for Attention’ takes a photojournalist’s eye to malnutrition

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